The President of the Catalan Government, Carles Puigdemont held a special meeting today at the Palau de la Generalitat with the political parties in favour of holding a referendum on independence. This cross-party meeting was called by the President to analyse the political situation and discuss the possible road-map for a referendum after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy refused to negotiate the terms and conditions of a vote. This refusal came shortly after the Government of Catalonia formally requested the Spanish state to open negotiations.
In the press conference that ensued today’s meeting, the Minister of the Presidency and Government Spokeswoman, Neus Munté, highlighted the importance of setting a date and question to the referendum in the coming weeks. Munté also urged the Spanish government to respect “all opinions that aren't necessarily in line with their own” as the Catalan Executive has done today by exchanging viewpoints with representatives from very different political factions.
“As a government, we believe that is essential to set a date and question, and to make every effort to maintain the strong transversality of the referendum, which is what it has represented and represents today in Catalonia”, she said.
In reference to the Spanish Deputy Prime Minister’s remarks, who earlier today said that President Puigdemont “has renounced to govern for the Catalan people”, Munté affirmed that with a “solid parliamentary majority in favour of a vote, to hold a referendum is to listen to the people of Catalonia”.
The Spokeswoman also noted the “huge contradiction” in the Deputy Prime Minister’s invitation to discuss a “non-negotiable” referendum. “There is no better definition of dead-end”, she added. In this regard, Munté affirmed that “there is much ignorance about the political reality” and instead of welcoming the “respect for diversity and transversality” that comes with this referendum, it is being viewed with “contempt”.
Nevertheless, the Spokeswoman assured that this “ignorance would not hinder the Government’s commitment to the referendum” and criticised the State for failing to “provide any solution”. “The government of the People’s Party has gone on for five years without giving an answer to the citizens of Catalonia”. “We are here precisely as a result of this lack of response to the Catalan demand”, she added.
Among those attending, were representatives with parliamentary representation from Junts Pel Sí, the Catalan European Democratic Party, Esquerra Republicana, Podem, CUP, Demòcrates and MES. The Vice-president, Oriol Junqueras, Spokeswoman Neus Munté and Minister Romeva were also present at the meeting.